Saturday, June 22, 2024

Biden and Harris Host Juneteenth Concert on South Lawn Featuring Kirk Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle & More | WATCH

*President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated Juneteenth with a vibrant concert on the South Lawn of the White House, featuring performances by renowned artists such as Kirk Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Patti LaBelle.

This event marked a joyous commemoration of Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday in 2021.

The concert highlighted the White House’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth, a day that has been significant to African American communities since the late 19th century but gained formal national recognition in the 21st century. The evening was filled with music, dance, and reflections on the historical and cultural importance of Juneteenth.

A notable moment during the event occurred when Kirk Franklin invited Vice President Harris on stage to dance to his uplifting song “Smile.” The crowd cheered as Harris joined Franklin, adding a personal and joyous touch to the celebration.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” is derived from the combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” marking the day on June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 2021, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. This historic moment marked the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983. During the signing ceremony at the White House, President Biden emphasized the day’s significance, stating, “Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, and a promise of a brighter morning to come. This is a day of profound weight and profound power.”

The recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday by the White House underscores the administration’s commitment to addressing the legacy of slavery and promoting racial justice and equality in the United States. The White House continues to commemorate Juneteenth with events and statements celebrating African American history and culture, serving as a reminder of the nation’s progress and the ongoing work towards true equality and justice for all citizens.

Juneteenth 2024 at White House (Biden, Harris) - screenshot
Juneteenth 2024 at White House (Biden, Harris) – screenshot

The Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn was not only a celebration but also a reflection on the enduring significance of the day. The performances by Kirk Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Patti LaBelle brought joy and inspiration, reinforcing the message of freedom and equality that Juneteenth represents.

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